I have been looking at adding one for my house.
I have been contemplating setting up a dedicated media server to stream to a ps3. Besides the benefit of autobackup and restore.

Since all of my machines are windows based and this unit uses windows server. Plus a twonky applet.
They come with 4 drive bays.

Any comment on pro or con?
build your own, you can buy windows home server OEM for $100
you can back up all your systems to it over the network, stream to your media extenders, etc..I plan on putting one together as soon as I have some extra cash to add some new drives to one of my old towers
I know that the software is out there now. But for me at bestbuy
HP - 1TB MediaSmart Server
2.2GHz processor
2GB memory

By the time I spend re building a old box and going to around a 1 tb drive
and still have a old slow processor 800mhz and usb 1 .????
Seems to me the 600.00 is not so bad

My real question is on the OS?
Compatibility and usage?
I currently have xp-sp1 and 3 and vista, dlink extreme router and a ps3.

it will talk to all those PCs, the PS3 I am not sure about, as it is a MS product, I know it works with the xbox.

some discussion on PS3 and HMS here, http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=959767

and apparently a working solution here, http://www.whsplus.com/2009/04/25/ps3-media-server-for-whs/
if your just looking to stream media, get an asus o'play or a netgear eva2000 or something like that, will stream from your desktop, a USB drive, the internet, those both go for $100 each.
they just released a firmware upgrade for the netgear oen that really made it shine, plaing a lot more media files than it did before, AVI, MKV, etc, limited to 720P however, the o'play does 1080

but that would be a lot cheaper for just a media setup.
On my pc I have tried them all just about.
Twonky,TVersity, Java ps3 media server and windows media player to name a few.
Each one has pros and cons to stream to the ps3.
Depends on what format you rip to for video,pictures,music.
One will stream vob one will not, one will stream wmv one will not. Yada Yada Yada.
To many codecs to deal with.
The best culprit is twonky for me so far.

Some nas units like the hp have twonky installed (explicit for the HP).
check out the asus o'play, it will handle anything you can throw at it,

Posted on top of each other.
I will confess I am a noob on this. But I already had a ps3 which is supposed to do it all.
I did not buy the ps3 for gaming but to play DVD's since my old one died. But if I can kick start this project I may look into a dedicated DMR other than a game console.
Right now I have my head full with dvd's. Decription and copying. And still keep lossless formats with audio and video.
Why have a 5.1 sound system but it only plays in stereo 2 channel.
Right now my vote is slysoft for software.
I tried all the freebie software. The best was dvd decripter but it is outdated.
Well, the OS doesn't really matter; I have a Linux Server (Ubuntu) with a upnp streamer and samba configured and I have a windows server running tversity (win7) and windows file sharing on... both stream to the xbox and ps3 without any issues.

1tb hd's are only like $80, you don't have to have a powerful machine, anything 1ghz or so should work fine...
I don't trust anything from HP since I got my C8100 printer.
I donno, my photosmart c309 touchpad web enabled wireless printer is pretty good...
I use the Linksys media hub 2tb to stream to my ps3.
Originally Posted by Gizmo
Well, the OS doesn't really matter; I have a Linux Server (Ubuntu) with a upnp streamer and samba configured and I have a windows server running tversity (win7) and windows file sharing on... both stream to the xbox and ps3 without any issues.

1tb hd's are only like $80, you don't have to have a powerful machine, anything 1ghz or so should work fine...

Long story.
Tversity works but two big flaws for me.
1. It compresses on the fly to a different codec. That is why it works on most formats because it does what it does.
Using vob files I loose the dolby 5.1 because it is muxed down to two channel stereo
2. art work does not work for all file formats. Like vob even if you paste a folder.jpg in the directory.

I have tried them all and like I said.
One or the other will not give it all up.
Lossless format with metatag info for music,photo,video.

Twonky seems to be my best bet for lossless or almost lossless.
Since they have a custom applet already seeded in the hp I am interested. And they have a linux version

I have never been a fan of HP but I like the home server they make. Small ,Expandable to like 13TB. Using the 4 drive bays + the esata and usb external ports.
If I could find something else like this that supports xp,vista,win 7 and linux @ 2GHZ I would consider.
i have a Mediasmart server... it works great as a server to backup all the PCs on my LAN.. but i don't use it to decode movies on the fly.. it only serves as a big ass disk (currently 6tb worth of 'stuff' laugh )

for the actual decoding, i have varying solutions at the TV level. 1 TV -- my main one -- uses a HTPC to do the decoding.. this becomes very important when doing 1080p stuff.. the mediasmart will never have the ooomph to do that, so it just serves up files..

coupled with the My Movies add-on, it runs seamlessly and i get to watch hi def movies in the windows media center (win 7, vista) software..

over on another PC, i have a SAGE TV box that does much the same thing..

there are other very small decoder/players out there.. popcorn hour is one that really works well.. xbox360 (with tweaks) works very well also wink

soooo.. your mileage may vary, but that's how i've done it ever since the HP mediasmart came out wink
Good info SD
Since for now I am stuck with the ps3 I was looking at how to archive video,music and photos with minimal compression.
At least till I figure it all out.
The problem I had with win media center is the ps3 is not a win extender like the xbox. I changed the registry to enable the dvd library but...
Also recorded tv from the media center is not compatible with the ps3

What HTPC do you use, model number please so I can look up the specs?

'eh if I needed something server/computer wise I'd build it myself so I'd end up with a case/mobo that could support future upgrades...

Sure your HP may be expandable, but all those esata disks will look like crap tongue
Remedial explanation needed.
the esata disks fit in a nice enclosure (1 cable) much like the mediasmart, so looking 'like crap' missed the mark tongue

yah, i guess if you just leave them individually lying around and connected, then it would.. but who would do that? maybe a slob, but i digress..

anyway.. my HTPC is simply a Shuttle (small form factor) machine.. i put a q6600 in there with 4gb ram a decent graphics card and voila.. matter of fact it is very cheap to build at todays prices as compared to when i did it 2yrs ago..

and for the money, you'd be hard pressed to build your own version of the HP mediasmart server for the same price... since time is also money, it was and still is (for me) cheaper to buy the HP than build my own.. also, you just open the box.. hook up an ethernet cable, turn it on... and go thru a VERY simply initial configuration and you are up/running wink

adding new HDDs is just open a drive bay and hot swap in a new one.. wink
Also, looking at the hp with four internal drive bays.
4X 1.5 TB=6TB
4X 1TB=4TB
Before even going external.
And it is a 8" tall brick.

Waiting on Gizmos response to case/mobo.
yah, back when i was filling mine up, 1TB was the max per and they were $300 each.. not prices are just ungodly low, so you'd prolly never have to go external at all..

you might even be looking at the 2TB green drives as well..
I still say that one case with multiple drives looks better than one case with a slew of external drives connected... So I stand by my "ugly" comment above :x...

My response on case/mobo was saying that you're likely better off buying a motherboard which supports an amount of devices that you "may" upgrade to in the future; and a case which would fit in with it.

An example, I have a case with 6 hd bays, and 4 large bays; and a motherboard with 6 sata2 slots and an ide channel. So I can have a total of 8 devices hooked up internally without having to buy another card, so that means that I can have several hard disks on board without having to worry about what I'll have available when I want to upgrade.

Though with the price of drives now adays it's a lot easier to migrate to hugely large disk arrays... I'd love to get 4 of the new 2tb green drives in a 8tb array...
Originally Posted by lolGiz
So I stand by my "ugly" comment above :x...

[Linked Image] R.I.F.
Oh okay.
But to my point the case is only like 8 inches tall.
So to build one from scratch I would think it would be tough and be that small.
I would need to buy a case,board,yada yada to get there.

But then I am not a pc shopping geek.

But anyway my real question was on hp mediasmart and any software/connectivity issues.
You know what!
For now my desktop is a dell xps420.
I believe I can add a additional 1TB drive.
I will go that route for now.

I can always yank it out and install it in the server( whatever selected) when needed.
Right now I am filling up the desktop with VOB files.
bottom line: the mediasmart won't be able to decode on the fly the hidef (1080p) stuff (.mkv etc) to your liking.. you will see the infamous blockies..

or if you are going with avi's / vob's it'll be ok..

hence if you want to go hidef, you'll need to offload those duties to a local box (popcorn, xbox, sage, htpc and many others)

that's how i see it.. the HP would however be a great server and also consolidate your iTunes etc... and the major benifit i get is the set it and forget it, auto backups of all PCs on your LAN.. this has saved me 2 times... its basically your local version of 'carbonite' wink
Okay, Well I am going with VOB so I can get 5.1 sounds without lossy compression/decode. So hence why I am looking for large file storage.
Been using slysoft and so far am pleased. A little costly since the software is a lease(anydvd,clonedvd) but it works very well.
I really like boxee. They also have the new boxee "box" device coming out in early 2010 which is supposedly awesome.
I just noticed Boxee today. Still looking at it.
But it looks like will not be out for a couple of months.
Okay I broke down and ordered the hp ex490.
1x1tb drive 2.2 ghz 64-bit w/2gb ram.
Drive bays 4 drive bays (3 available)
Ports (4) USB 2.0 ports (1) eSATA port
With windows home server.

Amazon had it for $478.00 with free shipping.
excellent! smile
Well the server came Saturday.
Did have a big problem.
The system drive was not completely inserted and the lock was not turned completely.
So the drive probably bumped out a bit during shipping.

Of course I found this out after the fact.

It worked for the initial install then ??? intermittent problems.

So the drive became corrupted.
What a nightmare! With only one drive there was nothing to mirror to.
When I finally figured it out it was to late.
The recover disk would not work because it was a used drive.
It would not reinstall from the image because the disk was already formatted.
Ended up sticking the drive in my desktop.
Removed the partition,formatted and deleted the volume so it would look like a virgin drive.
Then the recover disk would do its thing.
But that still took a couple of tries with the paper clip on the reset.

Talking to Bill at HP. With a heavy Indian accent did not help.
They walked me through reinstalling the client software and my firewall settings.
Which I disabled my firewall and updated the client software many times.
I finally asked what is the method to replace the system drive and reinstall the software.
Pretty much the answer was hot swap. But of course that did not work for just a single drive system.

So now it is up. I have a little less hair and am shopping for that 2tb second drive. Not sure how it handles mirror settings on a mix 1tb and 2tb. Since it not a true raid.

Still happy camper though.
After nearly 20 years of running a variety of boxes in the home, (starting with a closet XT PC running a BBS, up to a "look at my big huge rack from the Wal-Mart data center filled with machines that spin the power meter like crazy", most recently to a FreeBSD VM running on a family PC,) I yearned for simplicity and went to a MediaSmart box.

I wish I'd have done it sooner. Just today I had to do a restore of my "big Dell" (Precision 650, animal style) and it was my first use of the WHS restore. That alone was worth what I paid for it ($199 on Amazon.) Not to mention being able to centralize my file storage and serve up web pages on it's IIS.

Still need to setup more features such as the RDP passthrough, but so far, it's been a very great investment.
yes, i've had one backup/restore 'incident' myself and the restore worked flawlessly...

kinda like your own Carbonite in a box :hihi:
I'm still considering buying WHS and converting my download box into a server. all it really needs is a couple new drives so I can set up a raid array.
Question for SD!

If my system disk is a 1TB drive and I add a 2tb drive.
And enable mirror what happens to the extra 1tb?
Recommendations from online support is "all drives are the same size".
I am not sure on this config since it is not a true raid.
Currently with only one drive(system) I am not sure what happens when adding a mismatched drive.
My name isn't SD, but I'll answer anyways. The size of the miror raid is going to scale to the speed/cache/size of your smallest drive, 1TB. The extra 1TB on the 2 TB drive will go unused and is basically wasted.
Okay thanks. I was questioning this since it is whs and is not a true raid.
Did not want to go through the hoops of upgrading the original system drive to 2 tb right now.
Thought I could add a 2 tb drive then replace the system drive to 2tb down the road.
I asked SD since he is using a hp media smart server currently..
Ok, there might be some differences there, but that's *probably* the way it works, but if SD is using it he'd be able to give a better answer then.
Well I can't seem to get a straight answer from support either so hence the question.
Did not want to waste a extra $100.00 for nothing.
And did not want to start over copying files.
I am assuming I can add a 2tb drive. using the mirror option.
Then down the road replace the system 1tb drive with a 2tb drive and all will be good without any lost files or storage space.
Finally found a tech note from uncle Billy G.
So it does not matter if you have miss matched drive sizes.
They will all add up without loss of storage.
And files will not be lost.
Just so long as you have drive space leftover for duplication(mirror) when the drive is removed.
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